Likely used in impersonation incident near High Prairie
It took Slave Lake RCMP several days to notice an unmarked police vehicle was missing from their lot at the Slave Lake detachment. In the meantime, a report came in from High Prairie RCMP that somebody was impersonating an RCMP officer, using a truck with flashing lights.
The incident southwest of High Prairie happened just before 10 p.m. on Sept. 23. According to RCMP, a dark-coloured Ford pickup truck pulled into the yard and “upon seeing the homeowner, the male suspect turned on red and blue flashing lights,” on the truck. He then identified himself as a police officer and said he needed fuel. This was provided and he left.
The next day, the truck was found in Falher, but not the thief and impersonator.
Slave Lake RCMP think the truck was taken from the detachment on the night of Sept. 19.
It’s not known for sure – just strongly suspected – that the person who took the vehicle was the one who impersonated a police officer in the High Prairie incident.
The suspect is described a being of “medium complexion,” with clean-cut, short hair and wearing blue jeans, a coat and cowboy boots. He was wearing a skull ring on a finger of his right hand and has a scar on his nose and lip.
Slave Lake RCMP Staff/Sgt. Don Racette says police have a suspect in mind “who is known to us,” and who is a “prolific car thief,” from the High Prairie area.
As to how a vehicle, unmarked or otherwise, could be stolen with such apparent ease from a police station, Racette says, Ford F150s are notoriously easy to get started, for people who know how to do such things. It wasn’t a case of the keys being left in it.
Why its absence from the lot wasn’t noticed is another story. In fact Racette did notice it, on the Monday morning, Sept. 20. But as the person responsible for it had just gone off on a training course, he assumed he had taken it. A subsequent assumption was that it had been brought in for servicing. Hence the delay in realizing it was missing.